Interview: Starter Brand’s Back Like It Never Left


There’s no question that retro is what’s poppin’ right now. Sneaker brands like Jordan Brand, Nike and Reebok capitalize on their nostalgic classics all the time by reissuing kicks. Even the popular 90’s brand FILA has made a return. We might be accustomed to footwear brands making a comeback, but the apparel brand Starter has made it’s way back into the streetwear conversion and once again set a trend with it’s classic look. But how exactly did that happen?

“My 17-year-old son was always looking on eBay for the vintage jackets and I started laughing about it,” said Carl Banks, the President of G-III Sports Apparel, owner of the licensing rights. “This new generation is online trying to find the jackets we wore back in the day. That’s how I knew it was time to being it back.”

Banks, a former Starter Brand sponsored athlete while playing for the New York Giants, was already in negotiations with the NFL to do an ode to the Starter Jackets that Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall wore in Coming To America, but was having issues with licensing. So he pulled the trigger on relaunching the classic outerwear brand, itself.

“Starter was like Jordan before Jordan, in the sense that there was a quality to it that everyone expected.” Banks said. “I knew we’d be successful with the relaunch as long as we stayed true to maintaining that quality level. It was about bringing the brand back the right way.”